Big 'Dark Phoenix' Announcement: Kinberg to Direct, Lawrence Returns, Chastain a Villain

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Sources close to the production say Chastain is negotiating for the role of Lilandra, the empress of an alien empire called the Shi'ar, who leads the quest to imprison and execute Dark Phoenix, leading her into conflict with the X-Men. The returning cast includes Michael Fassbender as Erik Lensherr/Magneto, Jennifer Lawrence as Raven/Mystique, James McAvoy as Charles Xavier/Professor X, Nicholas Hoult as Henry "Hank" McCoy/Beast, Tye Sheridan as Scott Summers/Cyclops, Kodi Smit-McPhee as Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler, Alexandra Shipp as Ororo Munroe/Storm, and Sophie Turner as Jean Grey/Dark Phoenix.

"Dark Phoenix" is expected to hit theaters on November 2, 2018.

Jessica Chastain is in negotiations to star as the villain in X-Men: Dark Phoenix, the latest installment of Fox's banner-carrying X-Men movie franchise. This has left fans to wonder whether other elements of the Dark Phoenix story will be adapted.

As for Lilandra, it's unclear if her comic book origins and powers, which are much more cosmic than the X-Men films have been to date, will be true to form.

But more importantly, Jessica Chastain is joining the X-Men universe! Lilandra is described by Deadline as the "main villain", even though the character is traditionally depicted as heroic.

Unlike its counterparts on Fox's upcoming X-Men film slate, Deadpool 2 and New Mutants, there's been little news on Dark Phoenix, the only one of the three to centrally feature the classic X-Men lineup. On the negative side, he wrote X-Men: Apocalypse, and, you know, Fantastic Four.

Long time member of the X-Men movie family Simon Kinberg was also confirmed to be stepping into the director's chair for this movie.

Even if you consider yourself a loyal disciple of Fox's lucrative mutant franchise, the X-Men lore can be hard to parse.

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